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Digital Media Says Defamation Laws Already Covered

Facebook, Google and Twitter are set to be held accountable for content from their users, under potential changes to Australia’s defamation laws.

Australia’s attorneys-general are updating the defamation laws for the purposes of digital platforms.

“One of the policy principles that I think is really important when it comes to defamation, though, is to ensure that the responsibility primarily sits with the speaker, with the person who has control over what they are saying,” Facebook Australia’s head of policy Josh Machin said.

Google Australia’s head of government affairs and public policy Samantha Yorke, said the situation is already provided for.

“There are a number of legislative frameworks in place in Australia today that do impose legal liability, both criminal and civil, on digital platforms in relation to content that could be harmful,” she said.

Twitter’s senior director of public policy in the APac region, Kathleen Reen, said that, with more than a billion tweets every two days, her platform “couldn’t possibly review every tweet, or litigate, or support the litigation”.

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